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Memoir Review    

 

 

Surrendered Child:
A Birth Mother's Journey
By Karen Salyer McElmurray
University of Georgia Press, 2004
Hardcover, $29.95 (249 pages)
ISBN: 0-8203-2681-X
 
 

Karen Salyer McElmurray's Surrendered Child is unflinchingly honest. 

Still a child herself in 1973, McElmurray gave birth to a son who was put up for adoption immediately. She felt that she couldn't be a child, be married to a child, and have a child. The years would prove her decision was both right and wrong.  

Having spent a turbulent childhood with obsessive parents, she had no good role models for parenting. By the time she gave birth at sixteen, she had been a runaway and suffered from eating disorders. 

Twenty-five years later, she began sharing her story with others, and filling out the necessary forms to locate her son should he be looking for her.  

Surrendered Child is about forgiveness -- forgiving parents for their failures and forgiving one's self -- and what it means to be a mother. 

An assistant professor in the creative writing program at Georgia College and State University, Karen Salyer McElmurray is also the author of Strange Birds in the Tree of Heaven.

 

Pam Kingsbury
Southern Scribe Reviews
 

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